25 May 2011

Blocked


So often people comment on being blocked, hitting a dead end, suffering from writer's block, things not coming together, false starts, ....

I don't buy it! That so-called blockage is necessary for you to get to the next step. It's a gift from your mind that helps you organize your thoughts, focus your creative energy and complete - or start - a project. The intricacies of our brains are so far beyond my understanding, that I've learned to accept the seemingly random thoughts as what needs to be.

Some time ago, I worked in the corporate offices of a Fortune 50 corporation, wore a suit, carried a brief case and answered the phone with my name, as required. I was lucky enough to have many creative jobs not normally associated with such organizations. Most of my colleagues would have described me as fast, thorough and accurate. But, that was rarely true.

I can't tell you how many times I spent a whole day - in the middle of a project - just rearranging my desktop, sharpening pencils that I didn't use, searching for paperwork I didn't need. I'd panic at the end of the day, thinking that I wasted so much time. Would I be found out?

Well, what I found out was that this was my mind's preparation time. Somewhere in the inner recesses of that complexity of synapses found in so many brain cells, I'd finished my project completely - in my mind.

The next day - or maybe just minutes later - I'd sit down and pound out the work - quickly, thoroughly and accurately.

I came to know myself - I wasn't procrastinating, or hitting a brick wall, or blocked. Rather I was working the entire time. Only one of my bosses understood that.

Now that we have our own company, I find myself organizing a bit differently, moving my stapler, finding a new pen, bothering Pete. And, then I sit down and write a blog just like this one.

So, please, embrace your blocks, understand that your mind is filling in the holes or peeking through the cracks, getting ready for that burst of creativity that is just a moment, or maybe an hour, or a day away.

4 comments:

  1. I don't understand blocks either....My problem is an over ahundance of ideas/plans.

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  2. Anonymous25 May, 2011

    I HAVE ALWAYS WORKED THAT WAY!!! IN COLLEGE I USED TO BEAT MYSELF UP OVER PROCASTINATION, JUST TO DO A PERFECT FIRST AND FINAL DRAFT OF WORK I AGONIZED OVER FOR DAYS...ONLY TO HAVE IT SPILL OUT OF ME ...what i thought was deadline driven desperation was just distillation of my thoughts until i was ready to say what i needed to say. thank you beb for articulating this ...

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  3. I am def with Dale and Annie on this one. Blocks are a godsend. nothing more, nothing less. if it weren't for blocks in my life, i would really be blocked...stuck in a bad place and unable to leave!

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  4. Mostly, my problems are too many ideas and not being able to get going on any of them.

    Generally, a blockage will resolve itself if I go do something else - my subconscious pops out an idea, and as long as I can remember it long enough to find a pen, find paper and write it down before it disappears again, I'm okay. It's the getting started that's the problem.

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